In this case study, you’ll learn how Elasto Proxy solved a sealing challenge for a manufacturer of military vehicles. The rubber hatch seals that we supply resist over-compression and demonstrate our defense industry knowledge and technical expertise.
Hatch seals for military vehicles need to meet multiple requirements. In addition to keeping out wind, water, dirt, and mud, these rubber parts must resist temperatures in environments such as arctic cold and desert heat. Rubber hatch seals need to withstand compression, too. If the vehicle’s hatch causes the seal to over-compress, the rubber part won’t provide proper sealing. Ultimately, this permanent deformation or compression set creates a gap and can cause seal failure.
Solving the Sealing Challenge
When a manufacturer of military vehicles needed a replacement hatch seal, Elasto Proxy observed the effects of compression set firsthand. While touring a military base, members of our technical team saw how an over-compressed neoprene seal had allowed dirt to accumulate inside a ground vehicle. Amor plating could protect the vehicle’s crew from gunfire and IED blasts, but these rubber hatch seals couldn’t meet the mission’s requirements for protecting the vehicle’s interior from airborne debris.
Solving this sealing challenge began with compound selection. Custom fabrication also played a critical role. Since our founding over 25 years ago, Elasto Proxy has worked hard to earn the trust of the defense community. Today, we hold a Controlled Goods Certificate (CGC) and work closely with trade groups such as the Canadian Association of Defense and Security Industries (CADSI). As this case study shows, providing replacement hatch seals for military vehicles demonstrates our defense industry experience.
Neoprene rubber offers an excellent balance of material properties, but silicone sponge provides greater compression set resistance. Like other silicone elastomers, silicone sponge materials resist water, ozone, sunlight, and a wide range of temperature. Compared to silicone foam, however, silicone sponge offers greater toughness – an important consideration in military applications. Some grades of silicone sponge also resist fuels, chemicals, and published standards for flammability.
The silicone sponge that Elasto Proxy recommended for the vehicle’s hatch seals had enough “memory” so that these rubber parts could rebound to their original thickness, even at higher temperatures. By leveraging Elasto Proxy’s application knowledge and technical expertise, the manufacturer also avoided over-specifying the seal material. Military callouts and minimum order quantities (MOQs) increase project costs, so it pays to pick a partner who can identify a less expensive commercial product that’s appropriate.
Elasto Proxy’s water jet cutting machine was the perfect platform for converting 1/8”-thick strips of this silicone foam into precision-cut lengths. Unlike die cutting, water jet cutting makes fine, fast cuts without tooling. This contains costs, supports quick-turn prototyping, and makes water jet cutting a great choice for low-to-medium volume production. Because the water jet process doesn’t create mechanical stresses in the material, tight tolerances without warping are achievable.
Taping, another gasket fabrication process, also adds value to hatch seals for military vehicles. By gluing the cut lengths end-to-end, Elasto Proxy met the vehicle manufacturer’s design and production requirements. We also delivered taped gaskets or glued gaskets that were ready-to-install. These peel-and-stick products support assembly line or field installation, and prove that we provide complete solutions to military sealing challenges.
How Can We Help You?
Do you need rubber hatch seals for military vehicles? Do you need other rubber or plastic parts instead? Since 1989, Elasto Proxy has been strengthening the defense supply chain with custom-fabricated quantities of high-quality, low-to-medium volume parts. How can we help you to support the military’s mission? Contact us.